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                        Rail Road Vehicles



                        The Rail Industry Safety Standards Board (RISSB) released new standards for the assessment of road rail vehicles on 15/06/16. AS/RISSB 7502:2016 provides guidance on the design, manufacture, use, inspection, testing and maintenance of road rail vehicles (RRVs) across Australia.

                        The compliance requirements for RRVs were historically managed by the various Rail Infrastructure Managers (RIMs) who were each responsible for their own rail infrastructure assets. This resulted in a proliferation of different compliance requirements. The need for a National Standard was identified after several serious injuries and a number of fatalities involving these vehicles.

                        The Standard contains extensive detail across 31 sections covering every element of design, manufacture, use, inspection, testing and maintenance. The information below sets out more detail on the specific requirements of AS7502 that relate to safety aspects of RRVs and can be checked during a visual Plant Assessor inspection process.

                        Mandatory requirements across all Rail Infrastructure Managers (RIMs)

                        • All new rail guidance equipment systems (front and rear) shall be fitted with an identification plate.
                        • Where a vehicle has been operating but was not fitted with an identification plate, identification plates shall be fitted on all rail guidance equipment.
                        Rail guidance equipment
                        • Under all operating configurations, road rail vehicle brakes shall prevent uncontrolled movements during transition.
                        • When transitioning from road to rail, it shall not be possible to transition both front and rear rail guidance at the same time.
                        • The vehicle shall be fitted with indicators which independently show when both front and rear rail guidance equipment is fully stowed, fully deployed, or in transition.
                        • At least one pair of wheels which are in contact with the rail head shall be fitted with fail-safe brake equipment capable of holding the vehicle in all operating configurations on a 1:30 grade.
                        • The vehicle shall be fitted with indicators which independently show when both front and rear rail guidance equipment is fully stowed, fully deployed, or in transition.
                        • An indication audible to the operator shall sound when the rail guidance equipment is out of fully stowed or fully deployed positions, or in transition, where practicable.
                        • There shall be a clear indication (e.g. a light or similar) showing rail guidance equipment status (fully stowed, fully deployed or in transition) of both the front and rear rail guidance equipment. The indiction shall be clearly visible to the operator at every driving/operating position where practicable.
                        • Road rail vehicles which are fitted with  load shifting equipment and elevating work platforms, which work or travel under live overhead powerlines shall:
                          - Be fitted with a double redundant height lifting system approved by the relevant Rail Infrastructure Manager.
                          - Be fitted with an earth path to rail to any part of the equipment which is high enough to connect with overhead powerlines, the earth path shall not rely on conduction through bearings.
                        • Park brake for all possible configurations.
                        • Must hold during on/off tracking.
                        • Hydraulic dynamic braking must not be used as a park brake.
                        • Park brakes must be able to be released from any operator position including EWP work positions.
                        • Park brake status must be visually indicated at all operator positions including EWP work positions.
                        • A conscious action of the operator is required to release the park brake.
                        • The beacon(s) shall be mounted on the top of the vehicle, or in suitable location(s) so that the beacon light is visible to a person standing 4 metres in any direction from the vehicle on level ground.
                        • Each beacon shall have a luminous intensity of at least 18,000 candela.
                        • The flash rate of beacons shall be at least 40 flashes per minute and shall be at most 180 flashes per minute.
                        • Interlocking shall be provided such that the flashing beacon(s) are automatically activated during transition and at all times whilst the vehicle is operating on-track in rail mode.
                        • It shall be possible to manually activate the flashing beacon at times other than those required by the clause above.
                        • Reflective delineators shall be fitted to vertical surfaces on each side of the vehicle.
                        • Reflective delineators shall not be fitted to the front or rear of the vehicle.
                        • Reflective delineators should be mounted between 800mm and 2000mm above rail.
                        • Each reflective delineator shall have a minimum area of 0.025 square metres an minimum length of 250mm.
                        • At least two delineators per side shall be fitted, with one mounted near each end of the vehicle to highlight the extremities of the vehicle.
                        • Additional delineators should be fitted every 1.0 to 2.5 metres between the end-mounted delineators.
                        • Class 1A reflective material compliant with AS/NZS 1906.2, or Class 1W reflective material compliant with AS/NZS 1906.1 shall be used.
                        • The colour of reflective delineators should be white or yellow, as designated by the Rail Infrastructure Manager.
                        • Vehicles with body lengths less than 2500mm should have continuous reflective material all the way to the corners of the vehicle.
                        • The width of the continuous reflective stripe material should nominally be 100mm.
                        • Continuous stripe material may be solid colour or a zebra stripe design. If a zebra stripe design is used then the zebra stripes should be at 45 degrees to the horizontal and a minimum width of 50mm.
                        • Where rear visibility is insufficient for the operator to view persons on the track at the far end of the road rail vehicle, a colour CCTV system shall be installed.
                        • Road rail vehicles shall be fitted with derailment catch system to reduce the potential of the vehicle to rollover and to prevent damage to equipment, axles, wheels, etc, if a derailment occurs in either direction.
                        • Derailment catch systems shall be sufficient to catch the machine when the wheel comes off the rail so that the machine will be supported by the system on the top of the rail.


                        RIM specific requirements

                        The Standard leaves the following requirements to the discretion of the relevant RIM. Owner/users of RRVs will need to check requirements of the RIM responsible for the infrastructure asset being worked on.

                        Event recorder (data logger)
                        • An event recorder shall be fitted to all road rail vehicles as per the Rail Infrastructure Manager's requirements.
                        Speed indicator
                        • Each driving position on road rail vehicles capable of travelling greater than 5 km/h (or as otherwise specified by the Rail Infrastructure Manager) shall have an operative speed indicating device that is visible to the driver at that driving position.
                        • Rolling stock outline.
                        Emergency equipment
                        • Emergency equipment requirements.


                        Plant Assessor position on event recorders and speed limitation devices

                        There are some differences between AS7502 and existing state authorities in relation to these devices. The application of the AS7502 in relation to these devices is at the discretion of the RIM.

                        On 18 July 2016 the Asset Standards Association (the relevant Standard setting body in NSW) updated its document T HR RS 00700 ST also known as RSU Series – Minimum Operating Standards for Rolling Stock – Infrastructure Maintenance Vehicle Specific Interface Requirements. This document gives specific advice concerning when event recorders and speed indication devices are required.

                        Plant Assessor believes that this document is a well respected and adopted source of guidance across Australia, as such Plant Assessor has adopted this approach in an attempt to provide consistency across the country for these two safety devices.

                        If you would like further information about the safety and compliance of road rail vehicles, please contact the Plant Assessor team.


                        Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. This is not intended as legal or expert advice for your specific situation. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the content of this information. 

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